The judging is finished and the scores are in, we now have the winners of this year’s Ubuntu App Showdown! Over the course of six weeks, and using a beta release of the new Ubuntu SDK, our community of app developers were able to put together a number of stunningly beautiful, useful, and often highly entertaining apps.
We had everything from games to productivity tools submitted to the competition, written in QML, C++ and HTML5. Some were ports of apps that already existed on other platforms, but the vast majority were original apps created specifically for the Ubuntu platform. Best of all, these apps are all available to download and install from the new Click store on Ubuntu phones and tablets, so if you have a Nexus device or one with a community image of Ubuntu, you can try these and many more for yourself. Now, on to the winners!
Original Apps #1: Karma Machine
Karma Machine is wonderful app for browsing Reddit, and what geek wouldn’t want a good Reddit app? Developed by Brian Robles, Karma Machine has nearly everything you could want in a Reddit app, and takes advantage of touch gestures to make it easy to upvote and downvote both articles and comments. It even supports user accounts so you can see your favorite subreddits easily. On top of it’s functionality, Karma Machine is also visually appealing, with a good mix of animations, overlays and overall use of colors and layouts. It is simply one of the best Reddit clients on any platform (having written my own Reddit client, that’s saying something!), and having it as an original Ubuntu app makes it a valuable addition to our ecosystem. With all that, it’s little wonder that Karma Machine was tied for the top spot on the judges list!
Original Apps #1: Saucy Bacon
Something for the foodies among us, Saucy Bacon is a great way to find and manage recipes for your favorite dish. Backed by food2fork.com, this app lets you search for recipes from all over the web. You can save them for future reference, and mark your favorites for easy access over and over again. And since any serious cook is going to modify a recipe to their own tastes, Saucy Bacon even lets you edit recipes downloaded from somewhere else. You can of course add your own unique recipe to the database as well. It even lets you add photos to the recipe card directly from the camera, showing off some nice integration with the Ubuntu SDK’s sensor APIs and hardware capabilities. All of this mouth-watering goodness secured developer Giulio Collura’s Saucy Bacon app a tie for the #1 stop for original Ubuntu apps in our contest.
Ported Apps #1: Snake
The game Snake has taken many forms on many platforms throughout the years. It’s combination of simple rules and every-increasing difficulty has made it a popular way to kill time for decades. Developer Brad Wells has taken this classic game from Nokia’s discontinued Meego/Harmattan mobile OS, which used a slightly older version of Qt for app development, and updated it to work on Ubuntu using the Ubuntu SDK components. Meego had a large number of high quality apps written for it back in it’s day, and this game proves that Ubuntu for phones and tablets can give those apps a new lease on life.
Go and get them all!
The 2013 Ubuntu App Showdown was an opportunity for us to put the new Ubuntu SDK beta through some real-world testing, and kick off a new app ecosystem for Ubuntu. During the course of these six weeks we’ve received great feedback from our developer community, worked out a large number of bugs in the SDK, and added or plan to add many new features to our platform.
In addition to being some of the first users of the Ubuntu SDK, the app developers were also among the first to use the new Click packaging format and tools as well as the new app upload process that we’ve been working on to reduce review times and ease the process of publishing apps. The fact that all of the submitted apps have already been published in the new app store is a huge testament to the success of that work, and to the engineers involved in designing and delivering it.
Once again congratulations to Brian Robles, Giulio Collura and Brad Wells, and a big thank you to everybody who participated or helped those who participated, and all of the engineers who have worked on building the Ubuntu SDK, Click tools and app store. And if you have a supported device, you should try out the latest Ubuntu images, and try these and the many other apps already available for it. And if you’re an app developer, or want to become an app developer, now is your time to get started with the Ubuntu SDK!